Photos capture nights of protests and fury in NYC over George Floyd death

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Sunday, June 7, 2020

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Powerful images captured days of protests in New York City against police brutality that left police cars burned and led to the arrest of hundreds of people.


Another day of largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd. Police reported some arrested, but not as many as prior days. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday he had personally seen "no use of force around peaceful protests," belying social media posts and witness accounts of officers moving on demonstrators without provocation and hitting them with batons. Critics said the mayor and police commissioner were misleading the public about the use of force by officers while enforcing the city's 8 p.m. curfew.


Peaceful protesters took to the streets of New York City on Thursday as part of a day of mourning for George Floyd, but once the curfew went into effect, arrests were made after demonstrators stayed out.


A day that began with hope that New York City was beginning to find a way out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus and a week of angry demonstrations over police brutality ended Wednesday with more violence. Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd drew thousands of people, but were broken up by police after the city's 8 p.m. curfew went into effect. Then, with the streets quiet for the first time in days, police said a man ambushed officers on an anti-looting patrol in Brooklyn, stabbing him in the neck. The attacker was shot and wounded.


An 8 p.m. curfew didn't stop thousands oqudefiant demonstrators from marching through the streets of New York City throughout the night though some of the repant destruction seen over the last few nights was quelled. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday had doubled down on a citywide curfew, moving it up from 11 p.m. the night before. He rejected urging from President Donald Trump and an offer from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to bring in the National Guard. People marched in groups of thousands in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn throughout the night Tuesday. Just after midnight Wednesday, most of the city's streets were cleared aside from police patrolling, especially in hot-spot areas for demonstrations.


Protests over George Floyd's death were largely peaceful, but widespread looting erupted across New York City as those demonstrations ended before Monday's curfew even took effect and continued overnight. Looters targeted Macy's in Herald Square and other brand name businesses, but also small businesses in places like the Bronx. The curfew will begin earlier at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.


Through most of the day on Sunday, in most of the city, a tense truce held, with officers keeping their distance and occasionally dropping to a knee in a gesture of respect. But after dark, there were ugly confrontations. Demonstrators in downtown Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan pelted officers with objects and set fires. Officers charged into crowds to clear streets, sending people sprawling and battering bystanders who couldn't get out of the way. Early Monday morning in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood, mobs of people rampaged down the sidewalks, smashing into numerous luxury shops to steal merchandise. Hundreds of people marauded through the area, breaking into Rolex, Chanel and Prada boutiques as well as clothing and electronics stores. One person was shot amid the chaos and was being treated in an ambulance. Small fires burned in the streets, which were covered with glass and garbage. Police appeared overwhelmed and incapable of stopping the destruction.


The largely peaceful protests around the city Saturday also gave way to scattered clashes between police and protesters later in the evening Demonstrators smashed shop windows, threw objects at officers, torched and battered police vehicles and blocked roads. Graffiti was scrawled on Manhattan's famed St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Similar protests flared around the nation in response to the Minnesota death of George Floyd. Floyd, who was black, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


'Dad changed the world': George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter speaks out

Family-owned pharmacy in NYC devastated by looters on Monday night

NYPD tactics during curfew help curb looting and violence

Video shows dramatic post-looting damage in Bronx

Manhattan stores hit by looters

In moving show of support, one of NYC's top cops takes a knee, hugs George Floyd protesters


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